4/29/09

Cellphone and Airtime card conundrum?

The Hubster and I are getting ready to switch cellphone providers and of course where we live restricts us greatly!

We have just 3 options here: Pioneer a local and completely infuriating and overpriced provider who we're dumping, AT&T who are much better but have limited coverage in the town we live in, and finally the very new option is Sprint, who offers excellent coverage here and good packages/phones.

To be honest coming from the UK, I find the cellphone situation here so inferior it's not funny. I was used to limitless choices of providers, unlocked phones, not being tied in for more than 3 months, much lower charges and no charge for RECEIVING a text or call which blows my mind here!

So we are 90% certain we are about to switch to Sprint, we have found a package that gives us everything unlimited for only $30 more than we pay now for only calls! And you can change your package anytime, anyhow and are not required to sign another contract - unlike bloody Pioneer! But I wanted to garner some opinions. So my questions are:

  • If you are a Sprint customer, are you happy and is their coverage good?

  • We have selected the SAMSUNG INSTINCT phone, their iPhone equivalent, let me know if you have one and what you think of it?

We are also going to get a Sprint Airtime card for DSL access anywhere. We have been assured that anywhere you can get a Sprint phone signal, this card will give you internet access. So it will work outdoors, moving in a vehicle, basically everywhere. Again I'd love some feedback from anyone who uses an Airtime card (not necessarily Sprint) with a laptop on the move.

  • Are Airtime cards really that good and reliable, is your connection secure and will it work in a moving vehicle?

All feedback would be much appreciated.

21 comments:

VictorianCobweb said...

We are considering the whole cell phone in place of home phone/prepaid cell also..but want to keep the DSL internet here at home. I would love some feedback as well.

Flea said...

No help here. We've been with T-Mobile for nearly three years. We were going to switch this spring, but they offered to let us go month to month, no contract, and gave us some pretty good deals.

Gaelyn said...

No info about Sprint. However, when I got a Verizon card it didn't work where a cell phone did. Ask for a 30 day trial period. Most companies do that.

recipes for the life said...

Oh god you are actually charged for incoming calls and text msg? Thats crazy!!And expensive.

Lynn said...

Sorry I can't answer your Sprint questions. I just want to say I feel your pain. We have AT&T which seems to work everywhere except at our house.

smitten by britain said...

The airtime card is an interesting concept. I could see using that if you travel or live in a caravan but most hotels offer wifi now and then there's always internet cafes. I would like to find out more about those.

tinkalicious said...

Ok. twenty year plus user of cellphones, remember the suitcase or brick phone? I am blessed/cursed with ghetto fabulous Verizon, the service is generally good, USA, Carribean, Europe. they might not be the cheapest, but they work with you as a loyal custie...want to know more, email me and I will give you the full 411....

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Tink - unfortunately Verizon is not available to us here.

mub said...

I've sold Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and the local phone company's cell service in the past and of the four, I think Sprint is the best servicewise. They have the coolest phones and features. The downside is their customer service blows and if you have a problem it can take ages to get it resolved. Of any of the providers I think Sprint's data plans and wireless air cards are the way to go, but there are some areas where they don't work. It really depends on the market you live in, so like someone else mentioned make sure to find out what the time period is that you can get out of your contract without penalty is so you can try it out and return it if it doesn't work how you'd like it to.

Its Just Me - Daring to Dream said...

I hope that you choose the one that works best for you and your hubster. But I used to work for one of those companies and without slandering, you should be very careful when you choose and decide do research on customer complaints and reliability before you choose. Once you sign a contract, its like signing your name blood and your life away for 2 years!

faye said...

Verizon works best for us.
I had the Verizon usb modem for
about 6 months. It was better than
using dial up while away from home.
Just recently got a blackberry curve
from verizon and it is da bomb !..
email/internet/ IM all in one. The
salesKID was right... it has become
my BFF. I would be lost without it.

Kat said...

We had Sprint in the states and my only complaint was that their customer service sucks. Make sure you write down the answers to your security questions, passwords etc, because they are a pain in the butt if you can't remember something you made up 5 years ago and can't remember. We had a hell of a time switching off our acct when we got here because the hubby couldn't remember the answer to the security question he had made up when he first signed up.

Sherri said...

I have Verizon Wireless and love it! The coverage is great and I can call from places Sprint and AT&T doesn't seem to have coverage. I've had Verizon for about 9 yrs. now. My daughter had AT&T and her calls were always dropped and her coverage was terrible. That was 4 yrs. ago though, so that could have changed. Hope that helps!

fillyjonk said...

The only thing I have to share is that if you do business with A T and T, be prepared for an increasingly frequent and infuriating series of marketing calls asking you to buy some other service (DSL, for example).

I finally had to call customer service and ask them to step off; I was getting called nearly every day and repeated requests to the call center to STOP CALLING ME were ignored.

Of course, if you have no land-line, it may be different. But it makes me think twice about buying anything from A T and T.

Personally, I use US Cellular (which must not be available in your area) and have been pretty happy with it, but then again, I rarely use my cell phone and don't text.

pamokc said...

It is the size of the place and the population density that drives the market apparently ... I have a pay-as-you go plan because I rarely used my phone ... until my sister got sick and now I've been running up the bills! Let us know how you like the Sprint service.

Jo, a retired teacher said...

It doesn't seem like there is much help here. You may just have to take the plunge on your own. I don't have a Sprint cellphone, but my Kindle uses their network and it seems to be everywhere I have been lately. Sorry, that's all I know.

pamokc said...

Hey Sarah, BTW, have you checked into "Cricket"???? Does that work out in your area? I was thinking about getting their USB internet thing back before my u-verse thing finally got installed.

Diane said...

Just because you don't have a specific service provider in your area doesn't mean you can't use them. Before service was easily available in my area (also in Okieland, btw) I got a US Cellular phone, even though I didn't live in their service area. If you aren't too far from Enid (you mentioned shopping there) check into the providers available in that area. I now use Alltel/Verizon and have been happy with them and their customer service.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Pam & Diane - none of the companies you mentioned have any coverahe at all out here. As I sad we are limited to just those three. And Sprint is a very new addition, infact there website won't sell us a package as they have us out of coverage. But our neighbour has them and the Enid office knows we get coverage here due to a tower sharing agreement with Pioneer, so they will set us up.

Daryl said...

AT&T customer since forever ... I do know that if you get a list of what one provider will give you and take it to another provider they will almost always match it ... so you might try to strong arm AT&T with Sprint's list

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Thanks Daryl, but the Hubster has NO AT&T signal at all at his business here in town. We have it at home, but the business is essential too.